Thursday, February 18, 2010

Old Hands

Hands say a lot about your life.When you shake someones hand, you can feel their life in the texture. You know whether this person has known hard work or not.

My grandmother has rough hands. You can look at them and see a lifetime of work. My mother often talks of her washing clothes outside in the winter with a washboard. She remembers her hands bleeding from the water, wind and harsh soap.

I can remember my grandmother remarking on any type of lotion you might have. I guess I have given her many bottles of lotion over the years.

When I look at her hands now, I see all of my mother's memories along with my own. These are the hands that held me close, dried my tears, fed me whatever I desired and played for hours with me.

Tuesday I went to do my grandmother's nails. I wanted to do them in Mardi Gras colors, but, I did not have any purple or green nail polish. She gets a kick out of the unusual these days. Since I don't usually keep those colors on hand, I did red and pink.

When we were done, she wants to compare her hands to mine. So we are sitting there and she looks at her palms and at mine and says, "These old hands are dying." I almost burst into tears right then and there. All I could do was grasp her hands in mine and say, "I love these hands."

When I relayed this story to my mom, she said that Granny probably said that because she could not use her hands as well as she used to. When I think about it, she does struggle with things we take for granted.

I don't think you can judge a "book by its cover", but you can feel a life in a person's hands.


  1. Expat From Hell said...
    Hands tell us so much about a person, indeed. It is usually the best way to tell a person's age, for sure. The handshake is even more revealing. Maybe that's why the Japanese prefer only to bow. Hmmm. Great to be here again. EFH
    -MissC* said...
    I ost my best friend to Cancer last year. She had the strongest hands. Even when she was worn out from the chemo she would still hold my hands and make me feel safe and at home.
    Reminds me of the song from Jewel:
    "These hands are small I know, but they're not yours they are my own. And they are never broken."
    Tracy said...
    I've often thought it's cool how you go do your Granny's nails.

    I think I would have been moved to near tears by her comment about her hands dying too.

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